Being a tactical business minded person, importing from China is one of the options to consider. Not only because they are the default supplier of various goods in cheaper bulk prices, but leveraging a variety of products from China was already proven to deliver chunks of profit to big companies and businesses.
As importing from China may be your key ingredient in developing your business success, a small company will have to develop necessary papers and legitimate documents first. It may seem overwhelming at first. That is why we rounded up the important must know steps to importing wholesale from China.
1. Find if the product is viable to the industry you are in. Comparable to investing in the stock market, starting a new business has its fair share of risks. And when there is a risk, it is paramount to do extensive research first. Choosing the right product is crucial. You may want to start first on the products that you are familiar with and can manipulate. Other than this, you may want to consider its marketability next. Will it dramatically attract demand in your country?
If you are clear on these points already, you can look for lawyers in both countries for security and give you an advice as to what are the usual downfall cases in your business. This includes the regulations, laws on both China and your country, permits, approvals, development costs and minimum order quantities.
2. Ensure that the goods you import are permitted to your country. If everything’s set with the product you have in mind, check if those particular goods are allowed to be imported. Different countries have their own prohibited and allowed products. So do a little research first. Bear this in mind as it would cost a huge amount of money once it is violated.
3. Research and shortlist your suppliers. As there are a large number of suppliers claiming to be “manufacturers”, you should be cautious in doing so. If you don’t know where to start, try short listing from the online suppliers of renowned online shops, or try to negotiate at the Canton Fair in Hong Kong.
Once this is done, you can now request a P/I or Proforma Invoice for your purchase. This is a document that enables you to summarize and budget your purchase. Take note that the chosen supplier must agree to the FOB shipping terms from the port or airport, enabling you to have a better control over the shipment while largely decreasing the shipment costs and fees.
4. Develop your product prototype first. Though this is applicable to those with the DIY business, it is also wise for other goods, in general, to be tested further. For a DIY business, a plan is not enough. It is recommended to at least make the prototype in your own country then try to present it to the manufacturer. However, there are loopholes in this. What you need to do is research from a market-ready product and then reinvent it to the product you have in mind.
5. Investigate what and where is the best way to ship the goods. There are 2 ways to ship your product from China, either by air or by sea. Air transport is effective for those who have lesser goods to ship. Since wholesale products that are shipped in bulk will cost more if by air, transporting it by sea is the best option. Do your research based on your network’s experience and remember to have a good working relationship. To ensure that the goods are cost-effective, keep it in mind to get in touch with the ship porter.
Once you started your own small business, you are enforced to compete to an array of businesses. However, it shouldn’t be a problem, as long as you have the basic knowledge of these important steps on how to import wholesale products. These steps are tested, so you wouldn’t have to start from the very beginning as there are markers along the way already. Last note is to remember that this is just your first step in having a successful business, it’s still up to you on how you deliver the product to the market successfully.